Not everyone gets them, but for those that do, dark spots on the face, chest, hands or elsewhere on the body can be seriously frustrating to deal with. Hyperpigmentation is a condition that causes your skin to darken. This can affect patches of your skin or your entire body. For the most part, dark spots on the skin can be attributed to two causes: scarring and hyperpigmentation.
There are a lot of reasons for hyperpigmentation, the biggest baddy being the sun. Sun exposure can cause rapid multiplication on melanocytes (melanin-containing cells). From skin tanning, and acne, to stubborn pigmentation spots and scarring, there is no end to the types of skin problems that are occurring these days.
In order to get rid of those stubborn pigmentation spots, we often resort to various BB creams, concealers and many other artificial creams. However, these chemical-based creams can do more harm than good to your skin. If you got these spots because you didn’t take proper care of your skin, you can take steps to fade them. You can use natural methods instead of resorting to laser treatment and over the counter creams (1).
Home remedies may not work in every case, and there are also times when an individual should see a doctor for a full diagnosis and medical treatment.
1. Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil can be used to treat discolorations in the skin. The presence of Vitamin E and niacin help with hyperpigmentation and improving skin tone (2). Sweet almond oil is non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores) you can add it to your nightly routine as a makeup remover or moisturizer to help protect the skin barrier.
Papayas are the unsung heroes of exfoliation. Papaya has fruit acids known as alpha-hydroxy acids, which is a chemical exfoliant. The enzyme called papain is the key exfoliator and has properties you’ll find in most exfoliating products, breaking down those dark patches.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera helps in reducing dark spots and pigmentation. It also protects the skin from the damage caused by UV radiation. Hyperpigmentation can be both the cause for and the result of dry skin. Aloe can be ingested in the form of aloe drinks or applied to the skin as a moisturizer or skin healer by breaking the leaf of an aloe plant and dabbing the sticky substance onto your scar.
Since ancient times turmeric has been used as a face-pack in Indian households because of its medicinal properties. It is also helpful in balancing the pH level of the skin and adds a radiant glow to it.
5. Apple cider vinegar
Many people use apple cider vinegar on the skin to try and lighten unwanted pigmentation. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which may act as a mild chemical peel in some cases.
6. Vitamin E
There has been enough research to prove that Vitamin E neutralises the effects of UV radiation and repairs skin. Since we know that the sun’s harmful UV rays are the cause of expedited melanin production, this remedy is a keeper.
7. Yogurt or milk
Yogurt and milk both contain lactic acid, which is a common ingredient in chemical peels for the skin. Milk has lightening and brightening properties that are a must when it comes to getting rid of pigmentation. The small quantities in these foods may help with mild hyperpigmentation as well.
What causes hyperpigmentation
Sun damage is the most common cause of skin pigmentation and usually affects the parts of the body that are most frequently exposed to the sun. Other causes include:
- certain medications, including chemotherapy drugs
- pregnancy hormones
- endocrine diseases, such as Addison’s disease
- insulin resistance
- skin irritation, scarring, or trauma
If home remedies for pigmentation do not work, people can consult a doctor to discuss medical options. Anyone with concerns about their skin issues or who suspects there is an underlying problem should also make an appointment to be sure.